West Africa: Liberia Losses U.S.$250.3m in Quarry Industry

--IWL research findings reveal

In attracting both domestic and foreign investment, particularly within the extractive industry, IWL has suggested that tax incentives play a significant role.

Integrity Watch Liberia (IWL) has documented Liberia's tax incentives losses of US$250.3m between 2015 and 2016 in the quarry industry, which involves the extraction of sand, rocks, and other minerals.

A fact-finding research conducted by the group discovered that Liberia experienced substantial revenue losses of US$133.7 million and US$116.6 million between 2015 and 2016, respectively.

IWL submitted the report to members of the African Parliamentary Network on Illicit Financial Flows and Taxation (APNIFFT) on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, 10 April 2024.

IWL Executive Director Mr. Harold Aidoo said tax incentives play a significant role in attracting both domestic and foreign investment, particularly within the extractive industry.

Aidoo told the committee members that the latest findings from IWL are a comprehensive study on the sand mining and quarrying industry.

He detailed that the study sheds light on the driver's financial landscape within the sector, and it further highlights significant vibration in the operational scale.

He stated that larger companies like Z&C Rock Crusher stand out with substantial revenue figures, demonstrating significant market impact and operational scales.

In addition to company-specific data, he indicated that the study also examined broader trends in revenue generation within the industry.

From 2020 to 2023, he said revenue from sand mining and quarrying activities in Montserrado and Margibi counties exhibited fluctuations.

Despite an initial increase from $108,986.21 in 2020 to $202,885.53 in 2021, he stated that there was a slight decline in 2022 to $189,842.22, followed by another increase to $210,294.44 in 2023.

However, he said their effectiveness in stimulating economic growth while ensuring robust domestic revenue mobilization has been a subject of debate by the citizenry.

Aidoo revealed that the tax incentives averaging about 30% of revenue and 6% of GDP annually, represent untapped potential crucial for supporting national policy agendas.

"These findings highlight the importance of a balanced approach to tax incentives, one that promotes investment while safeguarding the country's fiscal interest and ensuring equitable distribution of benefits for all stakeholders," he said.

Receiving the research findings on behalf of the APNIFFT parliamentary members, River Gee County Senator Francis Dopoh thanked IWL for the research conducted and vowed to consider the report.

He said it is brilliant, and it comes at a time when there are a series of discussions surrounding this issue.

"But we want to commend you for bringing this to our notice," he said.

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